Sometimes things are just what they are, and if you find yourself having to discount your price too often to close a sale, maybe you have to ask if you’re going after the wrong customer?
The customers you have are a reflection of your prospecting efforts.
If your prospecting model attracts Wal-Mart shoppers, then why should you think you’re going to be successful if you’re Nordstrom’s? Sure, we all want to think we can close a sale, but there comes a time when it’s far easier to alter your prospecting process than it is to try and upgrade your selling process.
Is your prospecting process attracting the right type of prospect?
The biggest mistake I see salespeople make is thinking just because a person is willing to engage with you then that must mean they’ll be a great customer. Worse yet is the prospect you gain through a web offer which has zero qualifications attached to it.
Prospecting is about attracting the right prospect, and it’s one reason why I’m a strong believer in having a fast process to qualify the prospect. I’d much rather be spending more time with fewer prospects who have a high potential to close than too many prospects who I can’t close.
A question I ask sales teams when I’m working with them is, “When in the prospecting process do you begin to qualify the financial strength of the customer?”
Too often the reply I get is they don’t until they’re getting close to close. Think about this for a moment. The most critical element — a customer’s ability to pay — is not determined until the end of the process?
Doesn’t this seem a little backwards? Doesn’t this seem like it could result in a lot of wasted time? Sure does to me!
Make it your objective to validate as early as possible.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can’t do it for fear of losing a customer. You won’t lose a customer you never could get in the first place.
Let me share with you a few of the magic questions you should consider using. No, you don’t use them all, but you do use one or two or a variation you feel will work for you:
- How have you made decisions like this in the past?
- What was the criteria you used when you made your last big purchase?
- What are the other issues you’re having to juggle?
- Are you planning using this year’s budget?
Never lose sight of the reality that you can’t turn a Wal-Mart shopper into a Nordstrom customer.
Copyright 2016, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.